James Richardson Q&A on the difficulty of being a poet (text)
James Richardson on what he finds to be the most difficult obstacle to being a poet:
I’m fortunate enough (one has to say in these times) to be over-employed, so time and peace have often eluded me. How do we sit down and engage in the vast waste of time, the slaughter of hours and years, that writing poetry is, when there are always 14 things more urgent than a poem knocking at us? And when the very efficiency and productivity that are necessary to get these things “off the desk” are absolutely antithetical to the real mood of writing? Sometimes I think half my aphorisms—”All work is the avoidance of harder work,” “The best time is stolen time”—are about work. I was way into my 30’s before I really really knew I had to spend more time with poetry—or what, …die?—even though it meant I’d have to fail at some other things, and I still struggle with that every day, every year.